Promise to protect

The tendency to seek help when caught in helpless

situations is common to all. To whom can we turn to? To

one who is sympathetic to the supplicant and to one who is

also capable of extending the help needed, said Sri B.

Sundarkumar in a discourse. Only then can the distress of

the seeker be alleviated. Two instances, in the Ramayana

and the Mahabharata, pertaining to Dasaratha and

Takshaka respectively, illustrate that their application for

help failed because the people whom they approached for

help did not qualify for helping. Dasaratha seeks surrender

at the feet of Parasurama who enters Mithila after the

wedding celebrations are over. He pleads with Parasurama

to restrain himself and avoid any tensions. This plea goes

unheeded because Parasurama lacks compassion.

Eventually, it is left to Rama to subdue Parasurama. In the

case of Takshaka, he seeks asylum with Indra when the

snake sacrifice of Janamejaya is in progress and all the

snakes are summoned by mantras to enter the fire. Indra

soon realises that he is unable to keep his word despite his

assurance and willingness to help. He is forced to appear

before the sacrifice along with Takshaka when he is

summoned by the Veda mantra. His own state is in

jeopardy. With the intervention of the sage Astika the

danger to Takshaka and Indra is averted. The essence of

Saranagati is based on the premise that one seeks the

absolute power, the Almighty, who out of His infinite

compassion takes diferent forms such as Rama, Krishna,

Siva or Adi Sakti not only to protect those in distress but

also to grant salvation. Rama’s vow to protect those who

seek His feet rests on His supreme power and His

compassion. It is a source of great strength to the jivatmas

caught in samsara.